Haiti 2008 - Persons detained in the Toussaint Louverture police station in Gonaives

The Commission issued precautionary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of adults and children detained in the Toussaint Louverture police station in Gonaives

Honduras 2004 - "Renaciendo" Juvenile Center

On December 13, 2004, the Commission granted ex officio precautionary measures to protect the integrity of all children detained in the Renaciendo Juvenile Center, asking the State to monitor the facilities on an ongoing basis and to investigate the events that led to the adoption of the measures in order to identify those responsible and impose the corresponding administrative and criminal penalties. The measures were granted as part of a visit to Honduras by the Rapporteur for Children, Commissioner Paulo Sergio Pinheiro who visited the Juvenile Center, located on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, and noted that children (all under 18 years) were subjected to inhuman and degrading conditions of detention, which constitute a risk of harm to their physical and mental integrity.

Jamaica 2003 - Michael Roberts

On September 22, 2003, the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of the seven-year-old child known for the purposes of the proceeding as “Michael Roberts” and whose real name will be kept under seal to protect his identity. The information available indicates that Michael Roberts has been a victim of sexual abuse while at children’s homes under the Department of Children and Family Services of Jamaica’s Ministry of Health, and that even after the abuse was detected, he was the victim of omissions and negligence for lack of adequate treatment. The diagnosis in the record indicates that Michael Roberts suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and that the absence of adequate medical treatment tends to give rise to behavior such as sexual aggression directed at other children. After completing a preliminary stage in which it sought information from the State on the child’s condition, and in view of the risk to his health, the Commission asked the Jamaican State to adopt the measures needed to protect the physical, psychological, and moral health of Michael Roberts, including specialized medical treatment. In response the State indicated that the beneficiary was receiving specialized medical treatment and asked that the precautionary measures be lifted. On November 17, 2003, the Commission reaffirmed the precautionary measures and requested additional information on the medical condition of the beneficiary, and the treatment he was receiving.

Mexico 1998 - Magencio Abad Zeferino and Miguel A. Zeferino Domínguez

On November 9, 1998, the Commission requested the adoption of precautionary measures on behalf of Magencio Abad Zeferino and Miguel A. Zeferino Domínguez. The measures were requested on behalf of one of the victims in case 11.875 and his young son, who had been threatened by strangers at their own home, during the night, supposedly because of the complaints reported by Zeferino regarding the facts of the case in question.

Nicaragua 2001 - Five-year-old minor child

On August 20, 2001, the IACHR received a request for precautionary measures on behalf of MJAC (a five-year-old minor child) who, according to the complaint, was allegedly raped by her father. The petition states that the child’s physical and mental integrity is in danger, because her mother refuses to believe her relatives’ accusations about her husband, because she has suspended the psychological treatment recommended by specialists, and because she has taken the child to prison to visit her father, thus causing her emotional problems. On September 14, 2001, the IACHR asked the Nicaraguan State to adopt precautionary measures on behalf of MCAJ. The IACHR has continued to monitor developments with the precautionary measures.

Panama 2003 - Sandy Juliet Martínez Copete

On April 25, 2003, the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of Enrique Medrano, Juan Berrío, and the girls Sandy Juliet Martínez Copete, Yoinis Gutiérrez Mena, Sandra Gutiérrez Mena and Yesenia Berrío Mena.  The information available indicates that in the context of an operation to repatriate Afro-descendants of Colombian origin who were living in the locality of Punusa, Boca de Cupe, carried out April 18, 19, and 20, 2003, Enrique Medrano and Juan Berrío were detained by the Panamanian authorities, without any further immediate notice of their whereabouts or their personal security or physical integrity. The girls Sandy Juliet Martínez Copete, Yoinis Gutiérrez Mena, Sandra Gutiérrez Mena, and Yesenia Berrío Mena had been separated from their families when the repatriation occurred. In view of the situation, the IACHR asked the Panamanian State to present information on the whereabouts of Magdaleno Medrano and Juan Berrío, and on the measures adopted to ensure their personal integrity. In terms of the situation of the girls, it asked that the State determine their whereabouts, protect their security and health, and ensure that they are reunited with their families. In addition, the IACHR called on Panama to respect the right of non-refoulement of Colombian nationals in Panama, in the communities of Boca de Cupe, Jaqué Matugantí, Puerto Obaldía, and Punusa, in the Darién region of Panama, in keeping with international law, and to take steps to prevent their expulsion from Panamanian territory without the guarantees established at Articles 8, 22, and 25 of the American Convention. After the precautionary measures were issued, the petitioners reported that the minor Yesenia Berrío had been reunited with her parents on May 13, 2003, and that Sandra Gutiérrez Mena was of age; that information was immediately forwarded to the State. In response, the State reported that Yoinis Gutiérrez and Sandy Martínez were in Boca de Cupe, in the custody of their families. In addition, the parties submitted information on the situation of Enrique Medrano and Juan Berrío. On October 24, 2003, the IACHR held a working meeting with representatives of the State in which information was received on the situation of the communities of Afro-Colombian origin in the Panamanian Darien, and on the measures designed to verify future repatriations. In view of the information provided by the State, on October 20, 2003, the Commission decided to lift the precautionary measures.

Paraguay 2003 - Patients of the Hospital Neurosiquiátrico (Neuro-psychiatric Hospital)

On December 17, 2003, the Commission granted precautionary measures on behalf of the patients of the Hospital Neurosiquiátrico (Neuro-psychiatric Hospital). The information available describes the sanitary and security conditions there as inhuman and degrading, and as posing a threat to the physical, mental, and moral integrity of the patients. The information received calls attention to the instances in which female patients hospitalized there have been raped, resulting in pregnancy. It is also indicated that boys and girls were held together with adults. In this context, it is noted that youths Jorge Bernal and Julio César Rotela, 18 and 17 years old respectively, were kept for more than four years in solitary confinement in small cells, naked, and without access to the bathrooms. In view of the risk to the beneficiaries, the Commission asked the Paraguayan State to adopt measures to protect the life and physical, mental, and moral integrity of Jorge Bernal, Julio César Rotela, and the 458 patients at the Hospital Neurosiquiátrico of Paraguay, including making a medical diagnosis of their health conditions, with special emphasis on the situation of women and children. It also asked that the use of solitary confinement be restricted and, when used, respect the conditions established in the relevant international standards. In response, the Paraguayan State reported that on December 31, 2003, the President of the Republic, Nicanor Duarte Frutos, and the Minister of Public Health and Social Welfare, Julio César Velásquez, visited the hospital to learn more about the situation. After their visit, action was taken, as the director was replaced and an audit was launched.

Paraguay 2001 - "Panchito López" Juvenile Reeducation Institute

On August 8, 2001, the Commission requested that precautionary measures be adopted on behalf of the 255 minors who were previously being held at the Panchito López Reeducation Center for Minors (petition 11.666). The Commission made this request because on July 25, 2001, a fire had broken out at the Panchito López Institute. One youngster, Benito Augusto Moreno, was shot by a guard during the fire and died on August 6, 2001; following the fire, 125 minors were transferred to the Emboscada facility, which does not meet the minimum standards needed to guarantee the physical integrity of the minor inmates; the others were sent to different parts of the country and were placed in prisons with small, overcrowded cells alongside adults, except at the San Juan Bautista and Emboscada facilities, where they were placed in separate children’s blocks; and relocating these minors to distant prisons has aggravated their critical situations and has also made family visits impossible. The Commission therefore requested that: (1) The minors be immediately transferred to the Itaguá Education Center. (2) The physical, mental, and moral integrity of the minors be ensured and, in particular, that minors and adults be kept completely separate during the temporary relocation of the young inmates in the aforesaid facilities. (3) Access to the minors by their legal counsel and family visitors be granted. (4) The circumstances that gave rise to these measures be investigated, in particular those that led to the death of Benito Augusto Moreno (or Augusto Benitez), and that the perpetrators thereof be punished. After the State replied, the parties have continued to submit information and comments in connection with these precautionary measures. The Commission continues to monitor compliance with the precautionary measures.

Peru 2007 - Children of the La Oroya Community

On August 31, 2007, the IACHR granted precautionary measures in favor of 65 residents of the city of La Oroya in Peru.  The persons requesting precautionary measures asked that the identity of the beneficiaries be kept under seal.  The information available indicates that the beneficiaries suffer from a series of health problems stemming from high levels of air, soil, and water pollution in the community of La Oroya, which are a result of metallic particles released by the complex of metallurgical companies established there. From that information it appears that the persons affected by the pollution do not have adequate medical care for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. In December 2005 and November 2006, the Commission requested information from the State, inter alia: what measures were being adopted to protect the health of the population of La Oroya affected by the pollution, in particular in terms of adequate medical care and environmental controls at the smelting plants. In addition, the Commission received information according to which in May 2006, the Constitutional Court of Peru had decided an action alleging failure to act (acción de incumplimiento) against the Ministry of Health and the General Bureau for Environmental Health of Peru, requiring the design and implementation of a “public health emergency strategy” for the city of La Oroya within 30 days. The Commission asked the Peruvian State to adopt the appropriate measures for making a specialized medical diagnosis of the beneficiaries, provide specialized and adequate medical treatment for those persons whose diagnosis shows that they are at risk of facing irreparable harm to their personal integrity or life, and coordinate with the persons requesting the measures and the beneficiaries to ensure implementation of the precautionary measures. On March 8, 2006, during its 124th regular period of sessions, the Commission held a working meeting that included the participation of representatives of the State and the persons requesting the measures. The Commission continues to monitor the beneficiaries’ situation.

United States of America 1998 - Sean Sellers

On January 29, 1999, the Commission requested the adoption of precautionary measures on behalf of Sean Sellers, who was sentenced to death in Oklahoma and whose execution was scheduled for February 4, 1999. The Commission asked the U.S.A. for a stay of execution for Mr. Sean Sellers until it could study the reports of alleged violations of his human rights, since he was a minor when he committed the crime for which he was sentenced to capital punishment, and he was mentally incapacitated. The request notwithstanding, Mr. Sellers was executed on the scheduled date.

Venezuela 2003 - César Luis Castillo Moreno

On August 29, 2003, the Commission asked that precautionary measures be adopted on behalf of Yelitse Moreno Castillo, the wife of human rights defender Joe Castillo González, former coordinator of the Office of Human Rights of the Apostolic Vicariate of Machiques, and his son César Luis Castillo Moreno, just one year old. The information available indicates that on August 27, 2003, Joe Castillo González was assassinated by nine gunshot wounds, one-half block from his residence in the Tinaquillo neighborhood in Machiques, state of Zulia, while traveling in his vehicle with his wife and son. The beneficiaries also suffered gunshot wounds, but survived. In view of the risk to which the beneficiaries are exposed, the Commission asked the Venezuelan State to adopt measures to protect the life and personal integrity of Mrs. Yelitse de Castillo and her son.


Terms of Use | Copyright 2008. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. All rights reserved